6 September 1888
A spirit of dissatisfaction, according to the London Correspondent of the Manchester Courier, prevails throughout the police in the Metropolis. While rumours of important changes to be made in the Metropolitan police force are in circulation, whispers of discontent are heard in the city. The repeated failures of the police to trace murderers and other criminals has led to the exchange of recriminations. In future Scotland Yard will not be able to count, as heretofore, upon the protection of the Home Office whenever they may be attacked in the House of Commons or elsewhere.
WHEN the CRIME was COMMITTED
FUNERAL OF THE VICTIM
The murderer of Mary Ann Nicholls, in Whitechapel, has not yet been arrested. Latest information, from a reliable source, is to the effect that, unless the unforeseen happens, and a participator in the crime confesses - in which case a free pardon would be at once granted to the lesser criminal - no arrest will be made until Mr. Wynne-Baxter has concluded his investigations at the forthcoming adjourned inquiry. More than one man, however is suspected and watched.
There were large crowds round Buck's-row, this afternoon, the numbers being augmented by many Jews, now observing one of their special holidays. The sightseers mainly assembled to witness the funeral of the victim as the cortege passed through Whitechapel on its way to Ilford Cemetery. The hearse and two mourning coaches were followed by a concourse of people for a considerable distance along the Whitechapel-road. Two mourners were the father and son of the deceased. The coffin bore the inscription, "Mary Ann Nicholls, aged 42. Died August 31st, 1888."
An important statement, throwing considerable light on a point hitherto surrounded with some uncertainty - the time the crime was committed in Buck's-row, or the body deposited there - was made this afternoon by Mrs. Harriet Lilley, who lives two doors from the spot where the deceased was discovered. Mrs. Lilley said: - I slept in front of the house, and could hear everything that occured in the street. On that Thursday night I was somehow very restless. Well, I heard something I mentioned to my husband in the morning. It was a painful moan - two or three faint gasps - and then it passed away. It was quite dark at the time, but a luggage went by as I heard the sounds. There was, too, a sound as of whispers underneath the window. I distincly heard voices, but cannot say what was said - it was too faint. I then woke my husband, and said to him, "I don't know what possesses me, but I cannot sleep to-night." Mrs. Lilley added that as soon as she heard of the murder she came to the conclusion that the voices she heard were in some way connected with it. The cries were very different from those of an ordinary street brawl.
It has been ascertained that on the morning of the date of the murder a goods train passed on the East London Railway at about half-past three - the 3.7 out from New-cross - which was probably the time when Mary Ann Nicholls was either killed or placed in Buck's-row.
HOW THE DIFFERENCES AROSE.
Mr. Monro's transmigration to the Home Office has occasioned considerable surprise. It is still a matter of comment in many quarters. According to the London correspondent of the Manchester Guardian, we have not yet heard the whole story about it. When Parliament assembles, the full particulars may be expected to be made public, and it is thought Sir C. Warren will not then look so black as he is now painted. It will turn out, there is good reason to believe (so the Correspondent mentioned above says), that the late Assistant-Commissioner was the direct representative of the Home Secretary at Scotland-yard, with a very special object in view. Sir Charles Warren has always objected to the transformation of the detective department into a political police, and was at loggerheads with Mr. Monro over the latter's espionage of Irish Members of Parliament and the further attempt to connect some of them with convicted dynamitards. Mr. Monro's evidence on the subject before the Select Committee on the regulations for the admission of strangers to the Houses of Parliament will be remembered.
"I am very glad you have come, constable. I broke the window." This is how Arthur Simmonds, 21, a labourer, addressed Police-constable Hill, on the night of Aug. 29. Simmonds was standing with other persons, outside the shop of Mr. Otto Groose, a stay-maker of 187, High-street, Islington. The constable noticed that a pane of glass, valued at £15, had been broken. The constable asked Simmonds why he had done it. He replied, "I am hard up, and would rather go to prison than to the workhouse." At the Middlesex Sessions, to-day, however, he said the window was broken before he arrived, and a man gave him a penny to say that he had broken it. He was found guilty, and Warder Jones, who said the prisoner went about dressed in artillery uniform playing a cornet, proved thirteen previous convictions. He was sentenced to ten months' imprisonment, with hard labour.